Our Real Estate Blog
Getting settled in your new neighborhood is a big task. There are boxes to unpack, utilities to organize, new schools to register for, and new neighbors to meet. You have to learn new routes to work, and if you moved because of an employment opportunity, a new job to learn.
On top of that, you have to figure out new traffic patterns and where to find the best grocery stores, how to get to the post office or find the library and other services. You’re trying out new restaurants, exploring the sights and just getting settled in.
Then, you fall ill on the weekend, or your child discovers broken glass the hard way. With all the busyness and activity, that last thing on your mind is having to deal with an unexpected medical emergency. You realize that while you signed all of the paperwork in HR at your new job, you didn’t really read it and follow instructions to find a local doctor, determine the nearest hospital or urgent care that takes your insurance or even locate a pharmacy.
This common scenario can derail your relocation experience and make navigating an emergency even more difficult.
Follow this guide for locating the necessary emergency services ahead of time:
- Dedicate a few hours to locating a nearby urgent care to deal with minor issues. Ask neighbors, school teachers, and co-workers for recommendations.
- Urgent care facilities often are open on the weekend or later hours to care for simple infections and respiratory illnesses like a cold or flu, scrapes and bruises, sprains and other minor issues that need immediate attention but not hospitalization.
- Find the nearest 24-hour pharmacy. Call ahead to make certain they take your prescription coverage.
- Find the nearest hospital that has a trauma-level 24-hour emergency room and that takes your insurance.
- Be sure to locate an emergency dentist too. A dentist specializing in emergency care may be able to save a broken or knocked out tooth while waiting to get into your regular dentist might be too late.
Learn directions to these locations from your home, your work and your children’s schools. Drive by each location to become familiar with the proper entrances for emergencies. Keep the addresses and phone numbers of these locations in your contacts. List them by “pharmacy,” “urgent care,” or “hospital” along with the business name, since during an actual emergency you may not be able to recall the business name. Keep a printed or hand-written list on your refrigerator or another visible location in your home for older children or childminders.
Pets have emergencies too. Not all pet hospitals handle emergencies, so locate the nearest one to you and find a veterinarian that has a nearby clinic or makes house calls.
If it is possible your child or pet has ingested something poisonous, memorize the number for the American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222.
Put this number in your phone and post it on your refrigerator. Be sure to share it with babysitters and pet-minders.
For assistance locating other emergency services in your neighborhood, talk to your real estate professional for recommendations.
If you are in the market for an FHA loan, you are probably happy to get many benefits from the loan like a good interest rate along with the need for a low downpayment. While these loans can be very helpful on the path to homeownership, they can be complex. It’s a good idea to hire a realtor who is well-versed in the ins and outs of FHA loans and standards. A real estate agent can help you to find the right property to suit your needs and meet the standards the FHA loan will require.
Do you know what you’re getting into when it comes to shopping for a home? The FHA sets the rules for how homes get approved for an FHA loan and under what standards. These rules exist because the FHA is insuring the loan, but the organization is not directly funding the loan itself. This insurance protects the lender if the loan is defaulted on. An inspection appraisal report must be completed on each property. The appraiser is required to be an FHA approved appraiser to complete the job.
There are limits on how much of a loan you can get when it is FHA-backed. This is because the FHA will only insure a loan amount up to this limit. This means that you won’t be looking at high-end homes because the limits are usually quite restrictive as to the type of property you can get. This holds true unless you can afford a larger downpayment than the standard 3.5% required by the FHA.
Condition Of The Home
FHA-backed home loans can be rejected due to the poor condition of the home. If an appraiser says that the home is unsafe or hazardous to occupants, the loan will be denied. The assessment of the home’s condition is very important to the lender’s decision to grant the loan. The lender may even require that certain improvements be made before the loan can be approved. These improvements can include pest treatments, fixing leaks, or other damages that are deemed hazardous.
The Property Itself
The FHA also sets guidelines for the type of property that you can get. A condo must be in a HUD approved complex, for example. If you want to research FHA-approved condo complexes, you can search right on the HUD website. Each complex meets the Department of Housing And Urban Development’s standards for financial stability, hazard, and liability insurance. If you’re looking at manufactured homes, these are also held to certain standards. The manufactured home must be permanently attached to the foundation, have the ability to be taxed as a real estate property asset, and have been constructed before June 15, 1976.
If you want to buy a terrific house at a budget-friendly price, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead as much as you can. In fact, with a homebuying strategy in place, you can boost the likelihood of a fast, seamless homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft a successful homebuying strategy.
1. Think About Your Homebuying Goals
Do you want to live in a warm-weather region? Or, would you prefer to buy a house in a city or town where you can experience all four seasons? Regardless of where you want to live, you need to think about your homebuying goals and incorporate them into your homebuying plan.
Make a list of what you want to find in your dream house – you'll be glad you did. With this list, you can narrow your home search.
Also, it often helps to review your future plans as you put together a homebuying strategy. For example, if you intend to return to school, you may want to consider houses located near top colleges and universities. On the other hand, if you plan to settle down and start a family, you may want to pursue houses near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
2. Consider Your Financing Options
Buying a house likely will be impossible without home financing. Fortunately, there is no shortage of home financing options available.
Oftentimes, it is beneficial to meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about myriad mortgage options and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Once you have your home financing settled, you can incorporate a budget into your homebuying strategy. Then, you can check out available houses and avoid the risk of overspending to acquire your ideal residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Developing a homebuying strategy sometimes can be tough, particularly for those who are crafting a homebuying plan for the first time. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide who can help you complete a successful homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is happy to meet with you and discuss your homebuying goals. He or she also can review your homebuying strategy and offer expert homebuying recommendations.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can deliver during the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will help you minimize stress throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can purchase your dream home in no time at all.
If you want to get the most out of the homebuying journey, creating a homebuying strategy is a must. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a successful homebuying strategy.
The process of buying a house can be long and difficult. Whether you’re coming from an apartment or another home, you’ll want to time your purchase and move-in so you’re not paying for two homes at once.
What’s more, there are several steps required in the homebuying process, all of which you’ll have to give yourself enough time to complete.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the timeline leading up to buying a home. We’ll discuss how to figure out the amount of time you’ll need, and give you some advice on how to be ready sooner.
Prerequisites to buying a home
Before you consider purchasing a home, you’ll need to make sure your personal and financial life are ready for this commitment. Depending on what type of loan you are hoping to get, this could include saving as much as 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment.
Buying a home also usually requires good credit. If you have some issues with your credit history, you’ll want to take time to improve your score so that you can get a better interest rate on your mortgage.
Once you’ve settled on moving and have a general location, it’s a good idea to get pre approved for a loan.
Getting pre-approved for a loan is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it will let sellers know you’re a serious contender for buying their home.
Second, it gives you one fewer thing to worry about when it comes time to make an offer on a home that you’re interested in.
And, finally, pre-approval gives you a ballpark figure of the type of homes you can look at, saving you time when you’re shopping around for a home by avoiding properties that are over-budget.
The pre-approval process ranges from lender to lender. It can take as little as three days if you provide all the necessary information immediately. However, in some instances it can take weeks, especially if there are problems with the documents you provided to the lender.
Time before closing
If you’ve spent a few weeks viewing homes and considering your mortgage options, you’re likely getting ready to make an offer on a home. On average, this can take anywhere from 30-60 days.
The “contract to close” period can vary based on the type of loan you’re receiving and the underwriting process involved in that loan. USDA-guaranteed loans, for example, require added underwriting and processing time.
How to close sooner
So your lease ends in a few months and you want to make sure you’ll be in your new home before you have to move out. There are a few ways you can save time when buying a home.
First, make sure you provide your lender with everything they need to pre-approve you for a loan. Getting pre-approved quickly will save you a lot of time that is otherwise wasted while sitting around waiting for pre-approval.
Next, work with a real estate agent to find homes within your budget that are ready for move-in. Finally, be reasonable with your offer. Sellers, too, are typically on a timeline and will want to work with someone who is going to do their part to make the process as efficient as possible.
Ready to buy a home? Ultimately, you'll want to prepare for the homebuying process. By doing so, you can avoid many costly mistakes.
Believe it or not, it is easy to make mistakes as you browse the housing market. Some of the expensive mistakes that homebuyers frequently make include:
1. Overspending on a Residence
No one should be forced to overspend on a home. Unfortunately, if you fail to study the real estate market, you risk paying too much to acquire your dream house.
Remember, an informed homebuyer will be better equipped to optimize the value of his or her real estate investment than others. And if you understand the costs of properties in your area, you can avoid the temptation to overspend.
Explore the real estate market closely and assess the prices of similar houses. By doing so, you can understand the price range of homes that fall within your budget and plan accordingly.
Also, work with an experienced real estate agent. This real estate professional will help you determine how much you can spend on a home and can provide you with details about properties that match your budget.
2. Failure to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
After you find your dream home, you'll need to figure out how to pay for it. And if you struggle to obtain a mortgage before you start your home search, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase your dream residence.
Meeting with banks and credit unions prior to checking out properties is ideal. This will allow you to obtain a mortgage and search for houses that fit your price range.
Moreover, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may help you stand out in the eyes of a home seller, as he or she won't have to wait for you to secure financing to finalize a purchase agreement.
3. Lack of Realistic Expectations
As a homebuyer, it is important to understand that every house has its pros and cons. But if you fail to establish realistic expectations for the homebuying process, it may be impossible for you to find the right property at the right price.
Separating your homebuying wants from your homebuying needs is vital. If you determine exactly what you'd like to find in your dream home before you explore the real estate market, you can narrow your search and streamline the process of acquiring the perfect residence.
Furthermore, hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers. Your real estate agent can keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and help you submit offers on residences. This real estate professional also can offer homebuying recommendations, ensuring that you can minimize the risk of homebuying mistakes.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can accelerate the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. Collaborate with a real estate agent today, and you should have no trouble securing your ideal residence.